How To Install Polr on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Install Polr on Ubuntu 20.04

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Polr on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Polr is a free and open-source link shortener written in PHP and Lumen. It allows you to host your own URL shortener, brand your URLs, and gain control over your data.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of Polr open-source link shortener on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Ubuntu 20.04, 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • A non-root sudo user or access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Install Polr on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa

Step 1. First, make sure that all your system packages are up-to-date by running the following apt commands in the terminal.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Step 2. Installing the LAMP stack.

A Ubuntu 20.04 LAMP server is required. If you do not have LAMP installed, you can follow our guide here.

Step 3. Installing PHP Composer.

Run the following command below to install it:

curl -sS | php
mv -f composer.phar /usr/local/bin/composer

Verify the Composer is working using the following command:

composer -V

Step 4. Installing Polr on Ubuntu 20.04.

Now we clone the Polr repository from Github:

mkdir -p /var/www/
git clone –depth=1 /var/www/

Next, change the directory to Polr and install all required dependencies with the following command:

cd /var/www/
composer install –no-dev -o

After that, enable the web-based installer by renaming the following file:

cp .env.setup .env

We will need to change some folders permissions:

chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/
chmod -R 755 /var/www/

Step 5. Configuring MariaDB for Polr.

By default, MariaDB is not hardened. You can secure MariaDB using the mysql_secure_installation script. you should read and below each step carefully which will set a root password, remove anonymous users, disallow remote root login, and remove the test database and access to secure MariaDB:


Configure it like this:

- Set root password? [Y/n] y
- Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] y
- Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] y
- Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n] y
- Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] y

Next, we will need to log in to the MariaDB console and create a database for the Polr. Run the following command:

mysql -u root -p

This will prompt you for a password, so enter your MariaDB root password and hit Enter. Once you are logged in to your database server you need to create a database for Polr installation:

MariaDB [(none)]> CREATE DATABASE polrdb;
MariaDB [(none)]> GRANT ALL ON polrdb.* TO 'polr' IDENTIFIED BY 'your-strong-password';
MariaDB [(none)]> EXIT;

Step 6. Configuring Apache for Polr.

Now we create a new virtual host directive in Apache. For example, create a new Apache configuration file named ‘polr.conf’ on your virtual server:

touch /etc/apache2/sites-available/polr.conf
ln -s /etc/apache2/sites-available/polr.conf /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/polr.conf
nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/polr.conf

Add the following lines:

<VirtualHost *:80>
DocumentRoot /var/www/
<Directory /var/www/>
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
Order allow,deny
allow from all
ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/
CustomLog /var/log/apache2/ common

Now, we can restart the Apache webserver so that the changes take place:

sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo a2ensite polr.conf 
sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

Step 7. Configure Firewall.

In case, you enabled firewall and firewall block requests of the apache web server, open a port in the firewall:

sudo ufw allow 80/tcp
sudo ufw allow 443/tcp
sudo ufw reload

Step 8. Accessing Polr Web Interface.

Polr will be available on HTTP port 80 by default. Open your favorite browser and navigate to http://idroot.usand complete the required steps to finish the installation. If you are using a firewall, please open port 80 to enable access to the control panel.

Install Polr on Ubuntu 20.04

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Polr. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing Polr open-source link shortener on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa system. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official Polr website.

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r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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